This collection has over 75 recipes across a dozen categories. Recipes include classic flavor pairings like chocolate and floral, as well as variations on popular desserts like shortcake and ice cream.
Nothing beats a good old fashioned strawberry shortcake recipe, except for maybe one of these variations.
Strawberries in cakes serve a couple of functions: counter the bitterness in chocolate cake by sweetening it, or add acidity to an otherwise sweet vanilla-style cake.
Rhubarb & strawberries
Rhubarb is often paired with strawberries, for good reason. The first rhubarb of the season coincides with the start of strawberry season. On top of that, rhubarb's sourness balances out the sweetness in strawberries, adding depth to recipes. And finally, rhubarb's acidity keeps strawberries red when cooked in a pie (otherwise, the red pigment in strawberries turns purple-ish when baked in a pie).
Flowers & strawberries
Strawberries have floral flavor characteristics, some varieties more than others. Strawberries are actually in the same plant family as roses, the Rosaceae family (so are blackberries and raspberries). However, this isn't what gives them their floral tasting notes.
Chocolate & strawberries
This classic combo works because the berries sweeten the bitterness naturally found in chocolate.
Cocktails & other beverages
Use strawberries to sweeten up a cocktail, iced tea, or lemonade.
Go decadent with donuts or scones, or lighten it up with some healthier recipes below, like a yogurt bowl or strawberry muffins (whole wheat + almond flour / low in added sugar).
Appetizers & salads
It's pretty common to add something sweet to a salad or salty appetizer. When in season, use strawberries for that 'something sweet.'
Citrus is commonly paired with fish, apples with roast chicken, or peaches with pork. Try using strawberries instead, for a unique, seasonal twist.
While strawberries are technically available year round, they won't be locally grown when out-of-season. With delicate berries, that matters because they have to be picked unripe in order to survive shipping. Once picked, strawberries soften and change color but don't get sweeter or develop more flavor.
So if you're looking to preserve that fresh, locally grown flavor, try making jam or freeze drying them. While store-bought freeze-dried strawberries will likely be pretty flavorful, they are very expensive.
What to do with bland strawberries
It happens to the best of us - you get home and those strawberries you bought taste completely flat and flavorless. You might not be able to use them for your intended purpose, but you don't have to throw them out just yet.
There are a few tricks to make them taste better.
- The simplest option: add sugar and a dash of salt (the salt brings out more flavors)
- Roast them - it concentrates the sugars and flavor
- Make a strawberry reduction sauce to concentrate the flavors
- Top with whipped cream. Strawberries and cream share a similar flavor compound, so the whipped cream brings out that flavor and adds sweetness as well.
- Add other flavors, like basil or mint
- Add a syrup flavored with honey, vanilla, roses or hibiscus